Maryland Governor Wants to Build Up Space Industry

O’Malley wants more funds for aerospace
Baltimore Sun

Hoping to tap into an economic engine that can weather the recession, Gov. Martin O’Malley unveiled a strategy Tuesday for bolstering the space industry’s foothold in the state by lobbying for more federal dollars and emphasizing science and mathematics in schools.


New Space Tourism Center Opens in Florida

A new center catering to adventure travelers and would-be space tourists opened its doors at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in  Florida.

Aurora Aerospace began operating on May 1 as a “Space Camp on steroids,” offering customized programs that include flight training, high altitude jet rides, spacecraft simulations, academic training and more, said CEO Howard Chipman.


Per Wimmer: Willingness to Take Financial Risk Recovering

London financier Per Wimmer had a bit of good news to deliver during Space Investment Summit 6  on Wednesday. The willingness of investors to take financial risks seems to have recovered.

“In the past six weeks, (there has) been a massive change in the marketplace,” Wimmer told the audience.

Wimmer said he had been up at 2:30 a.m. to complete a million dollar deal; he completed a second deal worth $25 million by lunchtime. Although neither of the deals involved space, the recovery of investor’s “risk appetite” was a good sign for commercial space.

Wimmer has reservations on both Virgin Galactic and XCOR, which are both planning space tourism flights.

Space Investment Summit 6: Financial Issues

Financial Issues in the Synergy of Space & Hospitality/Tourism/Entertainment


Amaresh Kollipara: co-founder and managing partner, Earth2Orbit LLC

Michael Leventhal: attorney and founder, MC Squared

Barry Bloom: founding principal, Abacus Lodging Investors LLC


Space is not a destination, it is an enabler for businesses to expand their existing verticals. Panelists believe that the interest from the hospitality industry will be huge once space tourism gets going.



AIAA Celebrates Outstanding STEM Educators


Corporate members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) recently joined together to celebrate the recipients of the 2009 AIAA Foundation Educator Achievement Awards, and to show that the aerospace community is appreciative of their outstanding efforts in the classroom to inspire the next generation of the aerospace community.


i2i Conference Set for June 8-9 in New York


The X PRIZE Foundation, with its partners BT Global Services, John Templeton Foundation and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, will host a groundbreaking incentive2innovate conference (i2i) for senior-level executives, June 8-9 at the United Nations in New York.

i2i will provide an intimate forum for attendees to collaborate with extraordinary business leaders on initiatives to make an immediate impact on innovation, operations and revenue generation within their respective organizations.


Updates on Reaction Engines and British Space Development


Rob Coppinger over at Hyperbola blog has a couple of interesting interviews with leading figures in the UK’s high tech area.

One video features Reaction Engines’ managing director Alan Bond, who discusses the company’s work on the Skylon single-stage-to-orbit vehicle.

Coppinger also interviews Lord Paul Drayson, the UK minister of state for science and innovation. Drayson discusses the Skylon project and other developments within the British space sector.

Lessons Learned From Failed Mir Effort Fueling New Commercial Ventures


Alan Boyle has reviewed Michael Potter’s film, “Orphans of Apollo,” for his Comic Log website. He reviews the lessons that the failed effort to commercialize the Mir space station taught people:

The biggest lesson is that you want to have the government as your customer, not your enemy. “I think the slightly more commercial and realistic and politically savvy entrepreneurs who are now investing in private space understood where Walt went wrong,” David Chambers, who was MirCorp’s vice president of strategic planning, says in the movie. “And they’re prepared to play nice with the various governments that they need to play nice with.”


As Shuttle Era Ends, Private Commercial Spaceflight Begins

Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson
Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson

All will get taste of oasis for space: Desert launches will benefit KSC
Florida Today

Florida’s Space Coast will lament the end of the shuttle program and the loss of thousands of great jobs. But 2010 could mark the start of one of the most exciting periods in the history of human spaceflight. Gigantic leaps forward in our ability to fly people in space are coming, and they’re coming fast.


The Space Review: Bolden, GPS, Apollo and Detroit


In The Space Review this week:

Bolden’s burdens. Jeff Foust reports on the reaction to the selection of Charles Bolden and what is in store for the former astronaut as he prepares to take over the space agency.

The GAO, the media, and GPS.
According to some news reports last week, the GPS system is on the verge of failure because of delays in launching new satellites. Taylor Dinerman discusses why there’s less to be worried about than what those hyperbolic reports claimed.

Making lemons into lemonade.
What would have happened if an Apollo mission had been unable to leave Earth orbit? Dwayne Day describes one contingency mission that had been proposed in such circumstances, and its national security implications.

Cars versus rockets. What does NASA have in common with the nation’s troubled automakers? Michael Potter argues that both suffer from some fundamental organizational issues, and that NASA would benefit from better leveraging the capabilities and potential of the private sector.

Review: One Giant Leap. The 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 is approaching, and with it comes a new wave of books revisiting that historic mission. Jeff Foust reviews one book that examines some of the overlooked photography of the mission.